P. Antonio Márquez knows that making a film – even a short one – takes a massive amount of time and work.
As a filmmaker, he’s not afraid to work hard and get his hands dirty. This is why he’s proud of his latest short film, “¡Baca the Kid!,” as it is set to premiere at the Santa Fe International Film Festival at 9:10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, at the Jean Cocteau Cinema.
The film is part of the New Mexico Shorts Program 1, which features a handful of New Mexico filmmakers’ projects. After the screening, Márquez will participate in a Q&A session.
Márquez is also a lover of history, which is why he chose Elfego Baca.
“He’s someone who is overlooked as Western gunslinger more times than you can say Billy the Kid,” Márquez says. “I applied for a grant to help get the short film done last October. We just finished our final color two weeks ago.”
The film tells the story of Baca, who is trapped in a flimsy mud hut by an angry white mob, as he survives the longest gunfight in U.S. history.
Márquez says the story is mostly true.
Baca was born in Socorro to Francisco and Juana Maria Baca. His family moved to Topeka, Kansas, when he was a young child.
Upon his mother’s death in 1880, Baca returned with his father to Belen, where his father became a marshal.
In 1884, at the age of 19, Baca acquired some guns and became a deputy sheriff in Socorro County.
There are many legends surrounding Baca. One is that Baca stole a pistol from Pancho Villa and the angry Villa put a price of $30,000 on Baca’s head.
Márquez wanted to tackle the New Mexico legend with his film because he often heard stories from his family while growing up.
“I read his autobiography and everything sounds pretty traumatic,” he says. “I tried to find the balance of all the seriousness.”
For months, Márquez found himself working with storyboards to get the story right.
After filming there wasn’t too much excess footage.
“We filmed in three days,” he says. “The entire project was full of New Mexicans and we were telling a story about a New Mexican.”
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